A two-tier system of benefits for job seekers, with higher entitlements for those with strong work records, could be funded by reducing spending on mortgage interest.
Free schools, Police and Crime Commissioners, Titan prisons and army admirals are targeted for cuts.
Former cabinet minister tells The Staggers that the move "raises the question of whether Labour is really going to offer an alternative".
Not only will Labour be unable to reverse the coalition's cuts, it will have to make its own.
Balls's announcement is an attempt to exploit the divide between the Tories and Lib Dems on this issue and to demonstrate his commitment to fiscal discipline.
Throwing rhetorical jibes at the Labour leader is a crude displacement activity that will do little to aid the Tories' cause.
In 1979, the Tories won despite Jim Callaghan's lead over Margaret Thatcher. Cameron's lead over Miliband isn't enough to guarantee Tory success.
If Labour is to build truly excellent public services, it must re-embrace managerialism and performance data.
The idea of tabling an amendment to the Tory bill demanding a referendum before the next election is gaining currency in Labour ranks.
By promoting balanced growth and increasing employment, small businesses exemplify the investment economy Labour wishes to build.